Heart Rate Monitors

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Heart Rate Monitors

Postby usafpercman » Wed Aug 25, 2010 2:52 pm

I'm wondering if any of you MTB'ers use a HRM and if so, your recommendations on which one is THE BEST. I'm not looking to break the bank but I'd like to get one that's somewhat consistently accurate. Thanks
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Re: Heart Rate Monitors

Postby Sackattack » Wed Aug 25, 2010 6:43 pm

I'll admit: I use an HRM, but only on road rides. I think they're pretty worthless on the trail.

I don't know which one is the best. Mine is just a simple strap with an HRM watch. I've never tried anything else. Mine was a gift, but I believe the person found it online for less than $50.

Hope you find what you're looking for.
"Good training and bad training look exactly the same on paper." - Ron Daws
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Re: Heart Rate Monitors

Postby maddslacker » Thu Aug 26, 2010 3:49 pm

I use one that I won here. (thanks Trek7K!) It is a Sports Instruments HR90 combo HRM and cycling computer. This lives on my work commuter bike. Recently I decided to get a second one for mountain biking and so found a Sports Instruments ECG2 on ebay for $20. It is the wrist watch style, and being the same brand it effectively gives me a spare chest strap.

I was skeptical about using it for mountain biking as I already know I'm pinning the needle on tough climbs, BUT I do find the data to be valuable. I can moderate my effort when needed, whether climbing or on flats, and I can also tell when I have room to kick it up a little. I also like having a summary of my average heart rate, time spent in each zone and calories burned for the ride.

It's also satisfying to see the heart rate numbers come down over the course of the season. :)

As for brands, Sports Instruments can be found pretty cheaply on ebay BUT they are out of business, so there is no warranty and the batteries may be dead or nearly so even in "new" unused units.

A couple of my riding buddies have Sigma models that they really like.

Polar models are well reviewed but a little pricey.

Also check out something like the Garmin 305 and other high end ones which include the above + cadence and watt meters and GPS. It all comes down to how much of a data junkie you are. :D
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Re: Heart Rate Monitors

Postby Gronckle » Wed Sep 08, 2010 4:40 pm

I use a Timex - Zone Trainer Analog Heart Rate Monitor.
about 60 bucks, Tracks heart rate, time, calories burned, avg heart rate. It's has worked very well. I was not crazy about using the chest strap, but suprisingly, I actually never even notice it.
I use it mainly to stay under max heart rate and to compare calorie counts over shorter, steeper rides.
batter has run out after about 5 months in the strap, but is easily and cheaply replaceable.
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Re: Heart Rate Monitors

Postby steve32300 » Thu Sep 09, 2010 3:48 am

I am also looking for a heart rate moniter so thanks for the info to all who supplied it.I finally started getting back to the gym this summer and although the cardio equipment have heart rate on them,none of them work consistantly enough so that is my major reason for looking for dependable heart rate moniter that I could use on the trail as well and get an idea of what my heart rate is mountain biking like maddslacker suggests.
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Re: Heart Rate Monitors

Postby Hunyuk » Thu Sep 09, 2010 8:01 am

I have an older Polar, probably 5+ years old. I have replaced the battery in it 3-4 times, and the chest strap is worn, but it still works great! They are slightly more expensive, but even the lower end ones give you everything you need IMO.
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Re: Heart Rate Monitors

Postby Gronckle » Thu Sep 09, 2010 11:45 pm

I finally started getting back to the gym this summer and although the cardio equipment have heart rate on them,none of them work consistantly enough so that is my major reason for looking for dependable heart rate moniter


That's exactly why I got mine. The cardio machine monitors have never done me any good. My own monitor has worked great for all kinds of workouts, and biking - best of both worlds!
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Re: Heart Rate Monitors

Postby rogernelson » Fri Jul 01, 2011 1:35 am

There are many heart rate monitors available in the market. Basically accuracy of HRM depends on its working principle. Some of the accurate and popular HRM are Polar FT60, Polar FT1, Timex Ironman Race Trainer, etc. This is all about HRM.
I can suggest one more innovative thing for MTB users, One can mount bicycle racks, if they want to take it as long distance for adventure or something. Here is a site: www.birack.com, which will help you to select different types of rack for your bicycle.
Bike Racks - http://www.birack.com
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Re: Heart Rate Monitors

Postby 98special » Fri Jul 01, 2011 7:45 am

I got the Zepher HxM and use it with Sporttracker,even sends me an email of my ride.Lets me know when im slacken off and need to do better the next time,lol.
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Re: Heart Rate Monitors

Postby wbernest » Fri Jul 01, 2011 9:30 am

Heartrate is great for building and maintaining a certain base level. This is essential for any one that wants to do some serious racing. I use a Garmin FR60. This is a great piece of equipment, and I got mine with the speed sensor for around $150 off amazon. One of the best features is that it comes with a little wireless usb adapter that you plug into your comp it then every time you walk near you computer with a new workout on your watch it uploads straight to garmin.com. It gives detailed reports on heartrate, speed, and cadence(I know most mtn bikers don't use it, but I like it). The only issue I have with it is for some reason Garmin thought it would be a good idea to base calories on speed if you are using the sensor and this is a big no no(works fine for road bikes but not for mtn bikes), but I am hoping they correct this in one of thier updates.
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Re: Heart Rate Monitors

Postby ollysj » Fri Jul 01, 2011 11:34 am

I have a heart rate monitor in my bike computer (VDO HC 12.6) but stopped using it long time ago
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Re: Heart Rate Monitors

Postby Jared13 » Sun Jul 03, 2011 12:22 am

wbernest wrote:Heartrate is great for building and maintaining a certain base level. This is essential for any one that wants to do some serious racing. I use a Garmin FR60. This is a great piece of equipment, and I got mine with the speed sensor for around $150 off amazon. One of the best features is that it comes with a little wireless usb adapter that you plug into your comp it then every time you walk near you computer with a new workout on your watch it uploads straight to garmin.com. It gives detailed reports on heartrate, speed, and cadence(I know most mtn bikers don't use it, but I like it). The only issue I have with it is for some reason Garmin thought it would be a good idea to base calories on speed if you are using the sensor and this is a big no no(works fine for road bikes but not for mtn bikes), but I am hoping they correct this in one of thier updates.


I completely agree with wbernest. I have the FR60 with the cadence sensor (I also have the foot pod for running) I love using and looking at the data once I upload it.
The watch, HRM, foot pod, and cadence sensor all use the same batteries (makes it easy for replacing batteries.)
I love the graphs it makes online. It's nice seeing ups and downs of speed, heart rate, and cadence.
The calorie thing is a bit annoying, but I go in and edit it based on my average heart rate. It's still low, but closer than what Garmin says.

I use the cadence read out more than the HR reading while riding. I'm trying to stay in the high 70s to low 80s and with a quick glance at my watch, I can see exactly how I'm doing. But it would be the same if you were checking your heart rate.
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Re: Heart Rate Monitors

Postby John_Peterson » Tue Dec 18, 2012 6:25 am

I got Beets BLU HRM, connecting it to my iphone. I usually use it when I'm cycling, jogging, or just runing on a treadmill.
The good points are that it's compatible with dozens of apps, no charging and adapter needed ( it uses low energy bluetooth smart, battery life will last for ~ a year)
Here is their site http://beetsblu.com/
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Re: Heart Rate Monitors

Postby Tragedy1965 » Sat Dec 29, 2012 1:32 am

I've contemplated getting one and, based on the posts here, now I think I will.
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Re: Heart Rate Monitors

Postby AJ711 » Mon Jan 14, 2013 1:19 pm

98special wrote:I got the Zepher HxM and use it with Sporttracker,even sends me an email of my ride.Lets me know when im slacken off and need to do better the next time,lol.


I just picked up a the Zephyr unit, as well, and really like it. It is comfortable, lightweight, does its job well, and provides me with yet another set of data points to analyze my workouts with. Coupled with Strava, as a statistics aggregation device, I'm better able to my progress through workouts and see how I'm progressing.

I have not been using it for very long, so I am still building a baseline. I didn't know I'd enjoy biking so much and having websites, apps, and devices to better keep track of what I'm doing is a huge benefit.

I picked mine up for $79 + shipping from Amazon and it was at my door within a few days of ordering.
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